Letter from the Editor

Dear Golden State Members and Friends,

In this issue we will report on Golden State competitors at the Western States/AQHA VRH Sun Circuit. A very special birthday was celebrated there! Read on for details.

As riders and competitors, we know that bumps, bruises, strains, pains, and sometimes breaks, are all part of the game. But do we know for how long it’s been part of the game? A National Geographic study informs us of riders from long ago.

Most everyone suffered during the January floods-no news there. The Carmel Valley Trail & Saddle Club lost all its footing, and a fundraiser is planned to help pay for the replacement. You can help!

The first versatility event of the season, the Running T Spring Ranch Roundup just concluded. The May newsletter will have results and pictures. Our next show is the Way-Out West Spring Classic April 28-30.

The “weather guessers” are predicting a “drier than normal April.” Oh, how we pray!

Dawn Poston

Send comments, concerns, & ideas to [email protected]

Inside this editor’s mind…

Sun Circuit

Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Snow…

. . . shall keep Golden State competitors from getting to Scottsdale. It snowed on rigs driving through Palm Springs, the Tehachapi Pass closed causing drivers to have to turn back (adding a day to the trip!), one traveler’s horse colicked on the trip (successfully treated and went on to great success), and upon arrival stalls were wet and the grounds a sea of mud! Doesn’t it sound like fun? Riders are a determined bunch.

Yet, our members rode well, the horses were great, and amazing successes were achieved. Kudos to the Westworld Grounds team who worked tirelessly to get everything back into shape.

View from Westworld. It was cold, brrrrrr!

Clifford Horse Training barn aisle day #1

California competitors. L-R Heather Bryant, Cynthia Cantleberry, Sarah Clifford, Bee Garcia, Jody Smith, Amy Larson, Bryan Jaeger, Samantha Scanlan, Josie Driscoll

Birthday girl Bev Sparrowk had a surprise visit from husband Jack

The best looking, hardest riding, 80-year-old woman you’ll ever meet

Candice Luiz-Terry and the beautiful “Buddy” showing us how it’s done!

Renee Jackson and “Jax “braved the Nevada snow to attend the Sun Circuit

Josie Driscoll and “Gucci” making the circles look easy

Jody Smith and “Zander” rocking that counter canter to the log drag

Sarah Clifford WS Open Champion, Bryan Jaeger WS Intermediate Champion and AQHA VRH Limited Reserve Champion out of over 40 riders!

A reminder that it’s often beautiful in Scottsdale-when it was said and done Sun Circuit was a lot of fun

QUESTION?? How many surprise birthday revelers can fit in Bev Sparrowk’s LQ when it’s too late and too cold to hold said planned party outside? ANSWER—15! As long as no one moves around. It was so much fun no one thought to take a picture. But the pictures here tell the rest of the story.

Fundraiser: “A River Ran Through It”

Please Help Us Restore It

As you may be aware, the Carmel Valley Trail & Saddle Club’s popular show venue was devastated by the January 9 storms. The Carmel River literally ran through it, taking all the footing in the large and small arenas with it. Took about half of the dressage arena as well, and much of the driveway and parking lot. Through the efforts of many volunteers, much of the clean-up and repairs have been done. Purchase and installation of the footing remains. On April 15 the Carmel Valley Community Foundation is hosting a barbeque, live entertainment & silent auction to benefit the Club. You can help by volunteering for the event, purchasing tickets (even if you can’t attend, give them to someone who can), donating an item or service to the Silent Auction, and/or making a monetary donation. Please help this amazing show venue get back into business. The plan is to have everything ready for the May 20-21 Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic (AQHA)/Golden State VRH show.

The Aches Aren’t New

World’s Earliest Known Horse Riders Had ‘Em Too

Horseback riding has been a part of human life for millennia, but scientists have long been unclear on how many millennia. Now, a new study has uncovered the earliest-known evidence of humans riding horses, dating back about 4,500-5,000 years. Scientists analyzed skeletons of Yamnayans, an ancient people who migrated to modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Serbia.

The researchers looked for signs of riding, including evidence of injuries that often come from falls, kicks, or bites from horses, and changes in the pelvis, femur, and hip bone. Out of the 156 individuals they analyzed, 24 Yamnaya were determined to have been “possible riders” and five “highly probable riders.”

“The rather high prevalence of these traits in the skeleton record, especially with respect to the overall limited completeness, show that these people were horse riding regularly,” lead author Martin Trautmann said in a press release.

Still, humans could have been using horses for transport even earlier. “It might be possible that these are not the earliest riders,” co-author Volker Heyd told National Geographic. “But this is the best evidence for horseback riding so far.”

Twenty-four ancient skeletons from graves in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria show signs of physical stress caused by horseback riding. Most of the skeletons are of people from the nomadic Yamnaya culture, which spread westward from the grasslands of eastern Europe about 5,500 years ago.

Five Yamnaya individuals in particular, from graves dated to between 4,500 and 5,000 years old, show multiple signs that they frequently rode horses—damage to their lower vertebrae, for example, as well as thickening of their pelvic bones and ridges on their femurs. Similar signs are also seen in four individuals thought to have been from cultures influenced by the Yamnaya.

Read in the National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/history-and-civilisation/2023/03/who-were-the-first-people-to-ride-horses-ancient-skeletons-reveal-new-clues

Editor’s note: Nothing new about the aches and pains of riders!

New Show, New Venue

Way Out West Spring Classic at Diamond Bar Arena

We hope to see you at the Diamond Bar Arena in Ceres for the Way-Out-West Classic April 28-30. On the 28th there will be three clinics-Cutting with Matt Silva, Reining with Amy Walden, and Trail with Sarah Kennedy. That evening there will be a show-sponsored social for all the competitors and their families. Get your entry in soon at gsvrha.org.

For more information contact Harlee Burtschi at [email protected] or Kelly Engel at [email protected]

Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic

First Big Show in Restored Carmel Valley Arenas

Despite a devastating flood of the grounds, through the valiant efforts of the membership and the community, we expect the arenas to be restored by mid-May and the Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic will be a go! Your attendance at the show will provide continued support of the restoration efforts. So, more than any other previous year, we really hope you will join us.

The AQHA VRH show is also a Ranching Heritage and a Western States approved event. One can do all three, just two, or just one of the shows. The Western States show will be an opportunity to gain points at a much reduced cost. As a result, there will be no first place awards for WS, just division championships.

This year there will be a very special buckle award for the AQHA division championship—a high end silver buckle with the winner’s name on it. Reserve will be spurs, third keychains. There will also be the traditional wine & embossed glasses award for AQHA class firsts. Sparrowk Livestock is providing a special award for the Ranching Heritage High Point.

Please join us May 20-21, and if you are able, there’s a link below for donations to our restoration cause. Every little bit helps.

Quote of the Month

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr (1858-1919)
American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States.

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

Editor: Don’t listen to the Bleacher Teachers…

2023 Calendar

Show Dates

For more information, click here to view the complete calendar in a new window

Date Name Location
Mar 31- Apr 2 WS & AQHA: Running T Ranch Spring Round Up Corning, CA
Apr 28 – 30 WS/AQHA: The Way-Out West Spring Classic (New!) Ceres, CA
May 20 – 21 AQHA: Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic Carmel Valley, CA
Jun 20 – 24 AQHA VRH World Show Guthrie, OK
Jul 8 – 9 Ranch Versatility Challenge San Martin, CA
Jul 27 – 30 Silver State Circuit WS & AQHA Winnemucca, NV
Aug 11 – 13 Clifford Horse Training VRH Show Carmel Valley, CA
Sep 1 – 3 Central Coast Fall Classic San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct 20-22 WSVRHA Finals Las Vegas, NV